Labor Standards Outreach & Education

| Mar 10, 2017

Late last year GSBA received a significant grant from the City of Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards (OLS) to conduct outreach and education for our small businesses. We are part of a coalition with the Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Coalition, Business Impact Northwest, Cascadia Consulting, the Eritrean Community of Greater Seattle, and OneAmerica. Together with OLS and our partners we have created a curriculum to walk business owners through the current Seattle labor laws: wage theft, minimum wage, paid sick and safe time, fair chance employment, and secure scheduling.

GSBA and our partners will be offering trainings throughout 2017. All are free and open to any business owner. One-on-one advice is also available for any business owner who has questions that go beyond the workshop. Here are some basic reminders:

All places of employment must have THIS POSTER displayed in a conspicuous and accessible location at job sites in English and in the language(s) spoken by employees.


Minimum Wage

For 2017 the Seattle minimum wage is between $11 and $15, depending on the size of your business and benefits offered. Large employers (501+ employees) must pay $15 or $13.50 if they offer medical benefits. For small employers (>500 employees), the rate is $13/hour unless at least $2/hour is contributed toward medical benefits and/or the employee earns at least $2 in tips.


Wage Theft

Employers must pay all compensation owed on a regular pay day and give employees written information about their job and pay. The important details of this regulation that businesses should pay extra attention are the requirements around record keeping and what constitutes hours worked. Remember – work “off the clock” must still be paid!


Fair Chance Employment

Job ads cannot categorically exclude applicants with conviction or arrest records. Questions about conviction or arrest history can be asked, but only after screening for the job’s minimum qualifications. Applicants must have the opportunity to explain or correct their record. An employer must have a legitimate business reason that employing the applicant will harm the business or impact the employee’s ability to perform the job.


Paid Sick and Safe Time

Employers must provide employees with paid leave to care for themselves or a family member. As with minimum wage, there is a tiered accrual and use structure based on business size.

 PSST chart

All employers must comply with the applicable laws. Retaliation is illegal in all cases.

For more information about how to comply with Seattle's labor standards laws, please visit or contact the GSBA office about upcoming workshops and other educational opportunities.

Workshops offered as part of our grant include:
Tues May 23  |  1-3 PM  |  Seattle Public Library - Capitol Hill
Thurs June 15  |  11:30 AM-1:30 PM  |  Business Impact NW
Tues July 11  |  10-noon  |  Seattle Public Library - Queen Anne
Thurs July 20  |  8-10 AM  |  GSBA Office
Tues Aug 8  |  1-3 PM  |  Seattle Public Library - Greenwood
Thurs Sep 21  |  11:30 AM - 1:30 PM  |  Business Impact NW

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